Friday morning car wash  

Posted by Smoke

It is funny how the learning process works. A few years ago the only thing I knew about Apartheid was....

Before I continue, I am not going to put up a big debate about injustices done or the oppression of the masses or any of that. My interest in Apartheid is purely one of knowing the past of my country. To go on.

The only thing I knew about Apartheid was that a great injustice was done against the masses and oppression was applied to the said group.

So about two years ago I started to do some reading on the subject. Now again before I continue. Some personal history.

As I was born in 1982 I spent my school years trough the 90's, the final leg of the Afrikaner Nationalist Apartheid era. My home language was afrikaans but my family was half english. And to top it I schooled in the small town of Naboomspruit (after tree fountain. Thats a direct translation, though a Naboom is in fact a tree in the Euphorbia family also known as a Candelabra tree) This town was rather conservative meaning pro Nationalism and Calvanist. To put it even stronger, they hated the damn blacks. This town had made the news for being the home to members of the AWB (a white supremacy resistance group) who got shot in Boputatswana, on the international news. It is also home to the high school that was named after J.G Strydom(one of the apartheid engineers) this "great" school(which I attended) was again immortalised by resisting the entry of black students after 1994(the first black student was enrolled in 2000). The problems for a young, liberal raised kid should be clear for anyone to see.

For someone with no political identity at the age of nine I had a tough time mixing with kids who, from age 2 was taught that crap was brown, because if it was white it would be ice cream. So on a merry day at the age of 12(it may have been 1 year in either direction) I was told in a class, which I suspect to have been religious studies, that the song that would became our National anthem in a few years(Nkosi Sekelel iAfrika) was in fact about idol worship and the calling up of demons and what other cruel creatures from a dungeon dimension.

The song was in fact, a Xhosa hymn that was composed in 1897 by a teacher in a mission school. After school I went home and informed my parents of these ramblings and before you could say A, my parents was on the phone to the said teacher and needless to say she was schooled.

This kind of mindset was experienced all throughout my school years and I learned it was best not to ask questions, in fear of the answers I would get. Looking back now, I am astound by the narrow mindedness of those people and myself( as I should have spoken up a long time ago)

So two years ago I started to make a study of things, I think mostly to find my own identity in this world. The first time I read about the cause and beginning of Apartheid, my guilty mind convinced it self that Apartheid was not that bad and that THEY actually ment well, it just kind of went sour at the end. This was my viewpoint for two years...

Until I read the full definitive history of the National Party. I found that the Apartheid laws set out over a span of nearly eighty years where set out and implemented years before the creation of the NP. I have not finished reading the book, but it sure is a good read.

On an after thought. The view that was held for many years in this country, and in some places still is, that black people are dumb or different is being abolished every day. Today as I sit in a rural Shangaan village at a car wash. Waiting for my car to be done, I notice two young boys drawing with a stick in the sand. They are at a high school age, and as I inspect I find there strange, cultural cave man scratching to be the following.

6 = 2x + 3y

This entry was posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 at 9:42 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I am so glad to see that you are facing the ghosts from our collective past in such a realistic way. The sooner we get rid of them the sooner we will all be able to appreciate our wonderful country and fellow contrymen.
PS: What is the answer to the sum - never was any good at math.

April 5, 2009 at 7:01 AM

Smoke, it is really interesting to read about apartheid from someone living through it and its aftermath. It's all too easy for us in so-called developed countries to look down on SA for this period in its history, but racism is all over the place here too - just more subtle I think. Thanks for sharing this.

May 18, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Argent, I am just happy that i was raised durring the end of it, it was so much more than a white supremacy thing. I might just blog on it some day

August 29, 2009 at 1:21 AM

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The spreading of the gospel